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AT&T Park chosen as best facility

AT&T Park chosen as best facility

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SAN FRANCISCO -- To honor its versatility, innovation and beauty, AT&T Park was recently chosen as the 2008 Sports Facility of the Year by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily as part of the inaugural Sports Business Awards program.

The home of the Giants, which hosted more than 400 events in 2007, was selected from a group of four nominees (John Paul Jones Arena at the University of Virginia, Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix). Last year, AT&T Park held a variety of events, ranging from the 2007 All-Star Game to ice skating to opera.

"This reward helps reinforce our reputation as one of the best ballparks in America," said Staci Slaughter, the Giants' senior vice president of communications. "It gives a sense of pride to our fans and to the people who help build and operate the ballpark."

In 2007, the Giants were fifth in the National League in attendance with 3,223,215 overall fans, 39,793 per game. Since its opening in 2000, AT&T Park ranks fourth in the Majors in overall attendance, and the Giants last year became just the fourth franchise in baseball history to draw more than 3 million fans per season for eight consecutive years.

"With this recognition, we have even more potential to bring fans to the park," Slaughter said. "People who come to visit San Francisco will want to see AT&T Park. It has become one of the top attractions in the area."

And the action at the ballpark by the bay doesn't stop during the offseason. AT&T Park is home to various concerts, soccer games, corporate events and family celebrations through the year.

"The park has become a community gathering point for people in Northern California," Slaughter said. "Not just during the season, but all year."

David Biderman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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